About your Council Tax

This is an introduction to Council Tax. Download the Council Tax explained and Leader's message for more information.

What is Council Tax?

Council Tax is a form of local taxation. The money raised is used to help pay for local services, like social services, highways and rubbish collection.

There are 3 parts that make up the Council Tax payable in the Wakefield District:

  1. That set by us, which is always published as the Council Tax payable and includes a payment (or precept) for the West Yorkshire Transport Authority.
  2. There are precepts charged on behalf of the Police and Fire Authorities.
  3. Some areas also pay extra Parish precepts, which fund local Parish Councils.

Most domestic properties are subject to Council Tax, including:

  • houses,
  • bungalows,
  • flats,
  • maisonettes,
  • mobile homes,
  • houseboats

There is one bill per property, whether it is rented or owned.   

The Council Tax charge runs yearly, from 1 April to 31 March. Your annual bill is issued each year in March for the coming year and is usually payable by 10 monthly instalments.

Who pays Council Tax?

Normally, the person living in the property will pay the Council Tax, as long as it is their only or main home and they are over 18 years old. The person who is responsible for paying the Council Tax is often referred to as the 'liable person'.

The liable person will be the person who comes first on the following list:

  1. A resident freeholder (for example, an owner-occupier)
  2. A resident leaseholder (for example, an assured tenant)
  3. A resident statutory or secure tenant
  4. A resident licensee
  5. A resident
  6. The owner or leaseholder (where there are no residents)

If two or more people have the same interest in the property, for example they are joint owners, or are married or living together as though married, we will issue a Council Tax bill in both their names. In this case, either person named on the bill is responsible for paying the charge.

Sometimes, it is the owner of a property who is liable, not the people who live there. This applies to:

  • Residential care homes
  • Houses of Multiple Occupation (which are specially built or altered so that people of different households can live in them; or occupied by more than one household and the residents pay rent separately for different parts of the property)
  • Religious communities
  • Houses for residential staff
  • Certain properties for religious ministers
  • Houses for asylum seekers

How is Council tax worked out?

The amount of Council Tax you have to pay depends on the valuation band your property is in, and the number of people aged 18 or over living in your property.

When we work out your Council Tax we assume that two or more people aged 18 or over live in your property. If your property is empty or only one person is counted for Council Tax purposes you may be entitled to a discount. Certain properties are also exempt from Council Tax.

The Valuation Office Agency values every domestic property. Your Council Tax is based on what your home would have sold for on 1 April 1991. To determine the right band for your home they take into account the size, age, character and the locality of the property and information about what similar properties sold for on 1 April 1991.

From that valuation your property is placed into one of eight valuation bands, A to H. The valuation band of your property determines how much Council Tax you pay. The following table contains valuation band levels:


Property value?

A Up to £40,000
B £40,001 - £52,000
C £52,001 - £68,000
D £68,001 - £88,000
E £88,001 - £120,000
F £120,001 - £160,000
G £160,001 - £320,000
H £320,001 +

Please note: These valuation bands are set by the Valuation Office Agency (part of the Inland Revenue), not by us.

Your Council Tax bill will tell you which band applies to your property. You can also find the band of a property by:

For band information for a particular area, visit our current charges page.


You can register for paperless billing and view details of your Council Tax account online. Go to My Account now to register or sign in.